ICBC, government and police are reminding drivers to “take a break from their phone”
Distracted driving continues to claim more lives on B.C. roads than impaired driving. Despite tougher penalties, more police enforcement and continued public education, on average, 78 people still don’t make it home to their families every year because of distracted and inattentive drivers. On Vancouver Island, on average, 8 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes per year.
In contrast, an average of 66 people are killed each year due to impaired driving. In fact, distraction and driver inattention is one of the top contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities in BC and contributes to more than one quarter of all car crash deaths.
In a recent Ipsos Reid study conducted for ICBC, nearly all respondents agreed that it is extremely risky to use their hand-held phone while driving; however, 38 per cent of drivers said that they use their phone during at least 10 per cent of the trips they take.
This month, drivers will be hearing one united message – take a break from your phone when you’re behind the wheel.
Police across B.C. are ramping up distracted driving enforcement in September, and community volunteers are conducting Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to take a break from their phone when driving.
New this year, ICBC is working with four car share companies in B.C. – Car2Go, Evo, Modo and Zipcar – which will help spread the message to car share customers, ensuring more B.C. drivers are aware of the risks of driving while distracted.
The campaign will feature new TV and radio advertising, airing throughout the province from September 8 to October 11, as well as digital and social media advertising.
Free ‘not while driving’ decals are available at ICBC driver licensing offices and participating Autoplan broker offices for drivers to show their support and encourage other road users to follow their example.
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